2023 was an interesting year for ongoing series. The writer’s and actor’s strikes cast a long shadow over everything that came out. Concerns about AI, fair pay, streaming residuals and more combined with market fragmentation and price hikes made everything around ongoing series a challenge. Still, this year saw HBO flex and show why it has been the king of prestige drama for the better part of two decades. They launched a new series that captivated audiences while sticking the landing on one of its hallmark series. With that said, here are the winners of Lords of Gamings 2023 Golden Lance Award for Best Ongoing Series.
They actually did it. Whenever an acclaimed series nears the end of its run, it always comes with trepidation. Years of build up, of investment, of time, often comes down to a final hour of television. Succession built us up and then landed it. The series as a whole was an absolute delight of drama and comedy. It held up a darkly grim mirror to the realities of jealousy, pain, and intrigue that come with mixing family and business. This is HBO at its finest, and maybe is the most wholly complete and remarkable show since the Sopranos.
Runner Up: The Last of Us
Thrilling. Gripping. Emotional. Exhausting. These are the emotions that consistently played through my mind over and over again watching The Last of Us. The Last of Us isn’t a fun show. It doesn’t feel like a video game adaptation. It feels like, is shot like, is acted like exactly what it is. An intense gripping drama of a father and an adopted daughter. The relationship between Joel and Ellie pops off the screen and is anchored by utterly magnetic performances. This show was gripping from minute one, and I can’t wait to see how faithfully they adapt The Last of Us Part II in the second season.
Runner Up: The Witcher
The Witcher has without a doubt earned the title of Ongoing Series of the Year. It captivated audiences worldwide with its spellbinding combination of stellar performances, intricate storytelling, and breathtaking visual spectacles. Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Geralt of Rivia is nothing short of extraordinary, bringing depth, charisma, and authenticity to a beloved character. The show seamlessly weaves together multiple timelines, adding an extra layer of complexity that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Its meticulously crafted world-building, complete with mythical creatures, political intrigue, and morally ambiguous characters, transports audiences to a realm both fantastical and grounded in human emotion.
The Witcher excels not only in its epic battles and dazzling special effects but also in its exploration of profound themes such as destiny, and the consequences of power. The exceptional writing and meticulous attention to detail make The Witcher a true standout, setting a new benchmark for fantasy television and securing its well-deserved place as the definitive Show of the Year.